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This mom explains why she refuses to take on a second job despite inflation costs

mom talks about not making enough money
Shay/TikTok

With around 40% of Americans currently struggling to make ends meet due to ongoing post-pandemic inflation, stagnant wages, and continual rising costs, you don’t need us to tell you that feeding a family feels next to impossible these days. One TikTok mom is explaining why she refuses to take on a second job despite how expensive everything is, and it’ll make you feel so seen if you, too, are feeling the financial strain in the past few years. And as part of the ongoing loud budgeting movement, we’re here for it.

TikToker Shay captioned the viral clip: “$100,000 a year is the new $50,000 a year.” In the clip, she began, “I don’t know who needs to hear this, but I felt compelled to say it. Things out here are getting expensive. I see that. Grapes, $7. Eggs, $5. Homes, half a million dollars. Cars, 40 grand used. It could be a Mazda, they don’t care.”

“But one thing I do wanna say is: I don’t give a darn how expensive it gets, I’m not working the second job,” she said. “Y’all ain’t about to have me out here working twice, okay. I’m good until about 5:30. 5:31, legs start buckling, knees going. 6:00, vision blurry, can’t find my car, okay. I can’t work two jobs, so whoever needs to fix it, please fix it, because it’s to the point now where working 40 hours a week ain’t enough, but I’m gonna make it enough.”

Humor aside, Shay presents an inherently valid point: American wages have been far too low for far too long, and every worker, no matter which industry or role they are in, deserves to earn a living wage. A wage that allows them to meet their basic needs for food, shelter, transportation, and the like, while also providing for their families, too.

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People in the comments section of Shay’s post agreed unanimously, sharing their thoughts. “A second job shouldn’t even have to cross our minds,” wrote one person. “We shouldn’t have to work 2-3 jobs to be able to afford life for ONE person,” added another. “Two jobs is for two people,” agreed yet another.

Plenty of parents agreed that they have retooled their budget so they can spend more time with their kids, but that they’re still exhausted working so much and still coming home to all the housework they left behind for the day. That’s without mentioning the astronomical cost of childcare needed to, you know, care for your kids while you’re working all those hours. “Single mom w two babies and no support system a second job isn’t even an option

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” wrote one user.

It’s long past time that lawmakers step in and provide workers the wages, benefits, and protections they deserve to actually support themselves and their families. As Shay pleaded: “please fix it,” because it honestly feels like it’s broken on just about every level imaginable right now.

A version of this story was originally published on Nov. 11, 2023. It has been updated.